Cheena is studying a Bachelor of Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Newcastle while helping future students decide on which path is right for them.
During high school in Jaipur, India, Cheena excelled academically, with one teacher noting that she was the best student he’d seen come through the school. She was heading towards a career in aerospace or mechanical engineering. But working as a sound and video technician at school events ignited her interest in building computer systems.
“I always liked computer programming and software-related stuff,” says Cheena. “I was drawn to computer systems engineering because it’s not just about coding – it can help you build the systems that run your software.”
Cheena’s passion for building tech led her to move from India to Australia to pursue a Bachelor of Computer Systems Engineering (Honours) at the University of Newcastle where she is currently in her second year.
While Cheena knew what she wanted to study, she began to research engineering programs around the world, and that’s when she learned about the University of Newcastle and its scholarship programs. She was attracted to the University because of its excellent reputation for Engineering programs, and the way it embraced the idea of mixing creativity and technology to produce innovative results.
Cheena’s excellent grades helped her to win her the coveted Golden Jubilee Commemorative Scholarship, an international engineering scholarship which covers 100% of the tuition fees for up to five years.
One of the highlights of her degree at UON is learning how to create real-world solutions, such as building software for driverless vehicles, she says.
“As you move through the course, you get to learn the skills that you’re eventually going to use in your career,” says Cheena. “That’s the most interesting part.”
As a science geek at heart, Cheena now hopes to set an example for other young women around the world to never give up on their dreams, and find success doing what they love. The challenges she has faced has inspired her to become a student ambassador to help future students decide what’s best for them.
“I wanted everyone to know that going to uni can help you achieve whatever you want,” she says.
One of the most common questions girls ask Cheena is whether a studying a STEM degree offers hands-on experience, and what networking opportunities will help kickstart their careers after they graduate.
“The great thing with STEM is that you can do one degree and have multiple opportunities in different industries,” she says.
For girls interested in pursuing a career in STEM, Cheena says it’s important to have patience and ask for help during their studies so that they have best chance of success when they start their careers.
“There will be bad days when you don’t understand anything, but seek help and don’t be shy, the University has academic, financial and personal support to help get you through,” she says. “You’re learning, and you want to be your best version of yourself when you leave university.”
This article is brought to you in partnership with The University of Newcastle.
Author: STEM Contributor
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